A brand new kitchen for children of refugees

In Asnières, a specialised foster home takes in thirty or so children from refugee families in Southeast Asia. Its role is to help these young people to find a way into the world of work. However, it faced a bleak future unless major renovation work was carried out.

Social and Employment

Asnières, France

Bernard Lucas

25,200 € to the Selection Committee at 2004/09/28

Project leader

Enfants du Mékong 2

« The history of the association, together with the responsible attitude and strong motivation of the team, will ensure the success of this project which deserves a helping hand »

Bernard Lucas

The Enfants du Mékong association was founded in 1958 with the aim of helping children from Southeast Asia with their schooling. The association's activities then began to diversify to keep pace with the changing geopolitical situation in that part of the world. Although it started out by organising a sponsoring system (15,000 children sponsored each year) the association went on to assist with the development of schools and orphanages. It then started sending volunteers to the region before opening two foster homes in Asnières and Rungis (Ile-de-France region) where it opens its doors to thirty or so young people aged 12 to 26. These are children of the boat people who arrived in France between 1975 and 1980 or more recent refugees, who have all been exposed to extremely precarious living conditions.

Successful integration for 81% of the intake

These teenagers stay with the foster home for several years during which time they are taught and assisted by teaching specialists to ensure their eventual integration into the workplace. Enfants du Mékong prides itself on a success rate of 81% for its two foster homes.
But in 2004, the future of the Asnières foster home hUng in the balance since the health and welfare authorities demanded the renovation of the kitchen which was, admittedly, built over 20 years ago. Otherwise, the foster home would have to close down its kitchen, which was tantamount to closing its doors. The total cost of building work and materials was 45 800 euros.
The 25 200 euros granted to Enfants du Mékong by the Veolia foundation contributed to this renovation, which was indispensable in all respects.

Considering the integrity of the Association and the scope of its commitments to the populations of southeast Asia, the Veolia foundation decided to help it on two other occasions between 2004 and 2007: by participating in the construction of an information technology school, the CIST in Cambodia, and in the opening of an agriculture training Institute in Thailand.